James Cameron had always envisioned Alita: Battle Angel as part one of a trilogy, which is apparent when the entire third act of the manga adaptation existed to prime audiences for a second film with Edward Norton playing the sequel’s villain. However, when the $170-200 million budgeted movie from director Robert Rodriguez and writer/producer James Cameron was only able to earn $404.8 million globally those sequel plans were placed into jeopardy.
Not the best kinds of numbers for a film with that price tag.
There has been a growing fan campaign to get an Alita sequel made and there is yet another supporter in actor Christoph Waltz, who recently told Collider he’d be willing to return to the role of Dr. Ido, if that were an option. However, hasn’t heard of anything concerning a sequel and isn’t sure if Disney plans on pursuing one.
WALTZ: “Of course! Of course, I would! But, you know, I’m as wise as you are. I haven’t heard anything and I’m a little disappointed and surprised that I haven’t heard a thing so far, because I know that it has followers. I know that people liked it and aside from what others said, I loved it and I liked working on it and I liked the result. You know, it was Fox and Fox doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s Disney. Maybe it doesn’t fit into the Disneyfication, but I have no clue. I have no clue. Maybe they’re working on something and I wouldn’t be the first person to hear, but meanwhile, I haven’t heard anything.”
Producer Jon Landu had previously suggested to CinemaBlend that they could purse sequels in the future if Disney wants them and reiterates that Jim had two other stories planned.
LANDAU: “What I think the Alita Army should do is keep peppering our family now at Disney and [let them know] how important it is to have another Alita movie and hopefully we’ll venture there one day.”
“Absolutely. … When Jim [Cameron] was going to direct us, which he was at point, in his mind he had plotted out two additional stories of where we would go very specifically.”
We know that James Cameron’s Avatar films are very important to Disney as the company added the Avatar IP to their theme parks even before they ended up acquiring 21st Century Fox. Director Robert Rodriguez also might be attempting to get into Disney’s good graces as he was recently involved in directing their Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
There could be a path for a sequel or a Disney+ series in the future.
I thought Alita: Battle Angel was fun enough despite having some issues with design choices, including the overuse of CGI with Alita’s facial animation. However, there was some good stuff there and it is a little disappointing they spend so much of that movie setting up a sequel only for it to not happen. Then again, that is the risk involved when subsequent installments aren’t ironclad and filmmakers decide to press on with planting those seeds.
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL – Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens, she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious past.